Do you have absolutely nothing productive planned this winter break? Are you afraid that while your friends will be busy doing internships or research, you’ll end becoming a couch potato all vacation? If you were like me and missed all the deadlines for internships, work, and winter courses, you’ll be anticipating for the semester to end but dreading the white, cold months of nothingness ahead of you. To make matters worse, school will start in March next year, which means you have more than two whole months free with practically nothing planned out. Well, fear no more. Here are some of the things you could do to make the most out of your vacation.
One thing you can do is sign up for weekly classes. However, most programs run by private academies tend to be expensive, regardless of what new hobby you wish to acquire. Instead, find the nearest youth center; it is very likely that you’ll find one within walking distance from your place of stay. These youth centers offer hobby classes all year long, with special programs organized during vacations. Even though the “youth” in youth center usually refers to teenagers, there are plenty of courses that adults and college students can register to. With topics ranging from Chinese and oil painting to yoga and cooking, these classes are extremely cheap. For a one-month course, you’ll only have to pay around 30,000 Korean Won. Check out the website of your local youth center to find out what classes are offered near you.
Personally, one of the never achieved goals I set every vacation is to learn world history. Although I’m not completely oblivious to how the world I live in came to be, I never took a legitimate history course and thus have always felt guilty about not being aware of current and past social and political issues. I assume that most KAIST students, who always focused their studies on science and engineering, to have a similar background to mine. But even if the thought is there, turning the goal into action is always the hard part. If you can’t bring yourself to read thick books on history, go on YouTube and look up Crash Course. This channel is run by John and Hank Green, two brothers who became famous on the Internet through video-blogging (or “vlogging”). John Green, the older brother, makes videos teaching viewers about world history with a witty and comic tone and style. Each video or “class” lasts for ten minutes, and you’ll be able to breeze through the 42 classes uploaded so far in no time. Just make sure you don’t get into them during finals week, or you’ll end up watching a video about how the main theory of civilization adopting a life of farming was to create booze instead of studying for tomorrow’s calculus exam.
These are just two of the countless possibilities to actually get something done during vacation instead of lazily lounging around in the house. Whether it is taking up a new hobby, teaching yourself something new, traveling, or eating and sleeping (which is a very productive combination of activities contrary to belief, especially if your semester was grueling and unbearable), don’t spend the upcoming months doing something you’ll regret later on. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because you were too busy during the semester. Who knows, maybe this unplanned winter might turn out to be more productive and fruitful than you expect it to be.
Ji Ha Kim